Crikey



Finally, something to really rally against in Abbott’s Australia

First they came for the independent filmmakers. But I said nothing, because I was a ballerina …” —  Martin Niemoller (adapted)

Watching the reaction to the Abbott government’s first budget, one is tempted to coin the headline: “Right-wing government in right-wing budget shock!”. That’s particularly so when you see the reaction, largely scrolling down through Twitter, of the class of 1972, whose sense of horror seems to be unleavened by any notion of politics.

For many, it seems to be an event outside of politics, inexplicable, cruel and arbitrary. That is to be expected, I guess. The budget marks the first decisive break with nearly a half-century of economic social-democratic liberalism — a long period in which all federal governments cut with the grain of social progressivism, changing little that had been established before them.

Malcolm Fraser may have abolished Medibank, but he left free higher education and a broad welfare safety net in place. The Howard-Costello budgets of the 1990s may have taken a razor to the cash value of specific programs, but they essentially left a Scandinavian-lite framework in place (as I noted in 2001 in my Quarterly Essay on Howard, “The Opportunist”, just in case anyone wants to suggest post-hoc wisdom). Where Howard decisively broke with a social liberal tradition was in relation to refugees and indigenous people — “the others”, within and without. In that sense, the Howard government was more like a pre-Whitlam Labor government than anything else, “McKellite” in Mark Latham’s handy phrase — until the debacle of WorkChoices, which rather proves the point.

By the time Howard left office, an Australian could still rock up to a clinic and get free healthcare, go to university for a less-than-crushing debt rack-up, take paid vacations, stress leave, apply for arts grants, and stay on the dole and pull cones in perpetuity, save for filling in a dole diary, and having the occasional appointment with a clinical psychologist who was even less employable than you were. The classical liberals tore their hair out about this, and about the way in which Howard was getting credit/blame for being some sort of liberal ogre.

Well, now they have a government and a budget they can like a bit more. But not much. For the weird thing about this budget is that it seems punitive to no great purpose. Howard and Costello did a lot of their cutting in the background — either programs which were amorphous but vital (such as R&D) or hidden from most but vital (such as indigenous health), while leaving the front end alone. This budget appears to go out of its way to hurt and affront people, without using the money to make any significant dent in the debt. Its significant frontline savings features seem designed to shape politically engaged sub-classes where none existed before.

Take the Medicare co-payment for a start. Most of us already pay something upfront for a GP visit because we don’t go to a bulk biller — and less than 100% of that co-pay is refunded. Bulk billing was designed to keep universality of healthcare intact — so that even the wastrel who had put the dole check on the first at Randwick could get an examination if they felt a twinge that turned out to be cancer. That has a downside, of course. Much of the waste in the health system is “frequent flyers” — the old, lonely and depressed, who turn up twice a week, every week, and constitute around 30-50% of some GP lists. They are enabled by bulk billing — and the theory is that even a small upfront payment causes a significant downturn in that traffic.

But of course it also means that some people — the deserving and undeserving poor alike — will simply not be able to see a doctor when they need to. Seven dollars doesn’t sound much — but of course many people on benefits, especially those with families, simply have no money at all in the last few days of a benefit cheque fortnight. When no money is required, the doctor can still be visited. The difference between zero and $7 is more significant than the difference between $7 and $30-$40-$50 for those who most require the universality.

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  1. EL @ 27 3:14pm
    “I mean, what do these geniuses think is going to happen, when young, testosterone charged men lose their casual or entry level job?”

    The more I think about it, the closer I get to the conclusion that the real division revealed in this nasty, vicious payback budget is not the “haves” vs the “have nots” but between those who have the right sort of connections vs the rest. The unemployed (young, old, male, female, regardless of aptitude or attitude or qualification) fit in the “everyone else” bin, and so don’t matter to the Tories. In fact, save for some occasional “statistics” that show production is up and unemployment is at an historic low, none of the Untermenschen will ever rate a mention (and we have always been at war with Oceania).

    by fractious on May 15, 2014 at 5:38 pm

  2. They never said you couldn’t pay for doctor visits or useless, unproductive study if that’s your bag”

    And when you’ve got your qualifications and have a substantial backlog of fees to pay and the job market is overcrowded and the dole is worth 3/5th of both halves of fcuk-all and the only way you can get even minimal government support is to take on more study, what are you going to pay with?

    Don’t think you’re doing yourself any favours, Patriot.

    by fractious on May 15, 2014 at 5:46 pm

  3. Here’s to you, Mr Rundle. The scale of your optimism amazes me. Having been a victim of the Obama delusion, all of mine has evaporated. Let me assure you, the town halls will remain empty. Bill Shorten will dribble along ineffectually until 2016 when the next candidate for least effective as possible opposition leader will be found by the Labor Party to fail to win the next one. And so on until, in 2023, climate change allowing, they’ll give Abbott a knighthood and beg him to rule for another decade, and then we’ll be annexed by Indonesia for a useful place to deposit their asylum seekers.

    by Ingle Knight on May 15, 2014 at 5:53 pm

  4. Town Hall meets? yeh right .. if a thousand citizens make a resolution and no media accurately reports it, was there any point? Only if they step away from their screens and act on their convictions, and thats extremely rare in this country. Give it 3 terms of LNP vandalism and maybe that’ll change.

    by Liamj on May 15, 2014 at 6:00 pm

  5. What about the Greens? They will need to get out of this endless subcommittee bullshit, their pride in attaching four amendments to the Zyklon B (Manus) bill, and start being a grassroots party again. They need to start big public meetings in every capital city — town hall meetings, thousands-strong, put their energy to that. If the federal leadership won’t do it, the New South Wales branch should do so unilaterally, across the country

    Well said. I’m a Green Party voter (and have been for some time) primarily because I give a toss about the appalling rate at which vested interests (through their LNP and ALP puppets at state and federal levels) have been and still are wrecking what remains of this country’s utterly priceless natural heritage. But all the while a lot of the Greens’ endless internecine rows about trivial rubbish makes me want to scream, and some of their beliefs in the realm of social and foreign policy gives me cause to wonder. And while I don’t doubt Christine Milne’s sincerity and honesty, Sir Bob she is not.

    I really do hope the Greens sort their $hit out and make the most of the obvious anger, frustration and disgruntlement that the Abbott government has created. If they don’t, then they really do deserve to be - as News Corpse wants - buried.

    by fractious on May 15, 2014 at 6:05 pm

  6. Just as an added kick in the teeth if you’re under 30, your superannuation fund might let you access all or some of your super if you’re experiencing financial hardship. Here’s what’s on the the eligibility form for AustralianSuper:

    You need to have received Commonwealth support payments for a continuous period of 26 weeks or more.

    You need to still be in receipt of these payments on the date of application.

    by Brad Knox on May 15, 2014 at 6:23 pm

  7. You’re pinning your hopes on the greens as the next face of the left but the reality is unless there is a substantial shift in the political landscape, like perhaps a split in the ALP, then the greens have got buckleys of being THE alternative party, at least in the near future. Which is kinda of depressing because the ALP looks increasingly like the party least likely to have a clue yet they have this large residual encumbancy as the alternative. As for town halls, you were kidding weren’t you?

    by David Howe on May 15, 2014 at 7:21 pm

  8. I haven’t met anyone so far, Labor or Liberal or whatever, who believes that struggling pensioners without assets, or the underprivileged or unemployed, should have to make a co-payment to see a doctor….the Libs are going to have to roll that turkey back,and they won’t get any points for doing it, given that they’ve already unnecessarily stressed out the most vulnerable in our society…poor policy & very poor politics.

    However, their superb wedge against the States on education & hospitals is great policy & politics which I agree with 100%. The GST must rise to 12.5%, and the disbursement formula has to be adjusted to be fairer to the bigger States e.g. Tasmania with only 2% of the population would not deserve its current share under a 12.5% GST rate. Labor would never have had the guts to take this route, which is crucial to the education & health services of future generations.

    by Kevin Herbert on May 15, 2014 at 8:03 pm

  9. I haven’t met anyone so far, Labor or Liberal or whatever, who believes that struggling pensioners without assets, or the underprivileged or unemployed, should have to make a co-payment to see a doctor….the Libs are going to have to roll that turkey back,and they won’t get any points for doing it, given that they’ve already unnecessarily stressed out the most vulnerable in our society…poor policy & very poor politics.

    However, their superb wedge against the States on education & hospitals is great policy & politics which I agree with 100%. The GST must rise to 12.5%, and the disbursement formula has to be adjusted to be fairer to the bigger States e.g. Tasmania with only 2% of the population would not deserve its current share under a 12.5% GST rate. Labor would never have had the guts to take this route, which is crucial to the education & health services of future generations.

    by Kevin Herbert on May 15, 2014 at 8:04 pm

  10. Guy Rundle: thanx for “…Richo, having lunches at a Sussex Street Chinese where the abalone stare back at you from the tanks, and wonder who is the more spineless animal on display”.

    I’ll be using that from now on!!!

    by Kevin Herbert on May 15, 2014 at 8:08 pm

  11. What’s weird about this move is that it is not presented as a belt-tightening, no-free-lunch type move, but as something that will power a new health research fund. Why? Why deny someone basic healthcare to fund research into increasingly rarer cancers, autoimmune diseases, etc? Why fund ways to extend life by three months for X hundred people, if delayed detection means a shorter life for X thousand people?

    http://pbs.twimg.com/media/BnoghEaIcAANhuW.jpg

    by drsmithy on May 15, 2014 at 8:09 pm

  12. What’s weird about this move is that it is not presented as a belt-tightening, no-free-lunch type move, but as something that will power a new health research fund. Why? Why deny someone basic healthcare to fund research into increasingly rarer cancers, autoimmune diseases, etc? Why fund ways to extend life by three months for X hundred people, if delayed detection means a shorter life for X thousand people?

    This may help explain it:

    http://pbs.twimg.com/media/BnoghEaIcAANhuW.jpg

    by drsmithy on May 15, 2014 at 8:11 pm

  13. Mr D #31
    “They are clueless boofheads whose only instinct is to kick the heads of the people they hated at university.”

    No. As individuals, and even as a party left to its own devices, they may be clueless. But they’re not running the show. For as long as those who got them into power are pleased with what they do for Them, They will let these boofheads wreak revenge on those who showed them up at uni, but once they’re past their use-by date…

    by fractious on May 15, 2014 at 8:12 pm

  14. By the time Howard left office, an Australian could still rock up to a clinic and get free healthcare, go to university for a less-than-crushing debt rack-up, take paid vacations, stress leave, apply for arts grants, and stay on the dole and pull cones in perpetuity, save for filling in a dole diary, and having the occasional appointment with a clinical psychologist who was even less employable than you were. The classical liberals tore their hair out about this, and about the way in which Howard was getting credit/blame for being some sort of liberal ogre”.

    Having literally just “pulled a cone” before reading this I was surprised with my lack of self-loathing. The classic liberals will ever pull their hair out.

    by TheFamousEccles on May 15, 2014 at 8:49 pm

  15. That is to say - Right on, that man! Had a (big) glass of shiraz, too.

    by TheFamousEccles on May 15, 2014 at 8:52 pm

  16. Bill’s budget reply speech was pretty fired up - maybe he had time to read your article Guy..!

    Judging by the audience response (and mine), I think Bill has got what it takes to take the fight right up to this shambles of a government.

    by leon knight on May 15, 2014 at 8:54 pm

  17. I have to say I’ve never seen anything quite like this:its like a William Falkner stream-of-consciousness with political overtones. Interesting ideas but in need of a good sub-editor

    by botswana bob on May 15, 2014 at 9:26 pm

  18. Why do journalists keep writing that Medicare is ‘free’ as are visits?
    It is no such thing. We pay medicare supplements in tax and a whole host of taxes that go towards Medicare including GST which is returned to the states to spend on health.
    To perpetuate this myth that a visit to the doctor is “free” is factually wrong. Bulk Billing simply means you do not pay at the time of visiting the doctor. Not that you do not pay at all and receive a “free” service.

    by Peter Shute on May 15, 2014 at 9:54 pm

  19. Time to reassess what Labor stands for.
    Certainly not what Abbott et al stand for.
    The Clarion will sound and slowly but surely the footsoldiers will come and we revisit the Workchoices rallies.
    Another slow but sure build up to a Liberal defeat
    Ruppies America has to be stopped, who wants to live in it?
    Guy Rundle?
    BTW Guy think of Abbotts welfare system in operation with another GFC (maybe not so far away, eh?).
    The Boss comes up and says I need to cut wages by 40% to just break even guys.
    The employees say no way can we can’t afford that.
    The Boss says my way or the highway.
    What do you do?
    Six months to the dole, no jobs then six months off the dole.
    No mortgage, lose the house, no money lose the car, no money no rent.
    On the street with the wife and kids.
    There it is, Workchoices by other means
    Welcome to the brave new world!!

    by bobball_au on May 15, 2014 at 10:13 pm

  20. So good Guy - great piece of writing - and despite our despair through the humour you will help us try to laugh these loons away.
    And I read somewhere that this sweaty Armenian dancing bear through connections of his wife at Schroders (possibly?) new all along the dangers and conditions about to befall the world through the GFC and is still in denial and intent on punishing the general public for the Rudd governments judicious and timely stimulus.
    And from this firm leftie and believer in all things left - as opposed to the vicious right - I still shake my head at the self destruction of the ALP - that more than anything else helped bring us to this government.
    Also never let this country forget that the victory of the LNP Coalition was enabled by main stream media studiously looking in completely the wrong direction, traipsing around the country following Big Ears as he donned hard hat and fluro vests in the work places he visited to butter up and fool the workers whose dreams are now crushed….to say nothing of the real poor and the unemployed youth and those who are truly disadvantaged in these modern ages…

    by Mick Handcock on May 15, 2014 at 10:22 pm

  21. I said on another page here, that Palmer will stick he has an axe to grind and some Liberal enemies he wants to teach a lesson to, a big lesson.
    He’ll block and frustrate Abbott every which way he can and send him, if he can, back to the polls where he’ll attack all and sundry and do a lot of damage.
    Underestimate him at your peril.

    by bobball_au on May 15, 2014 at 10:22 pm

  22. Great article - just one thing I missed, no mention of public education anywhere. If we do become the first democracy to residualise public education as a welfare system of last resort for the poor - and we are already well on the way - all the higher education reform in the world won’t help poor kids get a chance.
    It’s the public schools that took the hit (as usual) in this budget. Without the full 6 years of Gonski fundings the schools teaching the really, really disadvantaged (99.9 of them are public) will never get the support they need to help their students close the sometimes 6 year gap (yup 6 years) between our highest & lowest performing students.
    We are already the 3rd lowest funder of public education in the OECD (and right up the top for public funding to private schools - if there is waste, that’s where it is), after this budget we may hit rock bottom.
    How can we - any of us - have any kind of stable future then?

    by Jane Caro on May 15, 2014 at 10:24 pm

  23. Australian graduates still have substantially higher earnings and other employment outcomes than non graduates. Prospective Australian higher education students have no realistic prospect of studying at Harvard, on line or on campus. Harvard and the other elites will maintain their exclusivity since that is their main attraction.

    by Gavin Moodie on May 15, 2014 at 10:26 pm

  24. Hear hear. Bit harsh on cone-havers though. I’m prepared to put my bong down and put pants on to man the barricades.

    by Draco Houston on May 15, 2014 at 10:58 pm

  25. Correction Mrs/Ms Babbage/Hockey worked at Deutsche bank. sorry for the inaccuracy - I hope I’ve not offended anyone - particular the “self made” millionaire herself….

    by Mick Handcock on May 15, 2014 at 10:59 pm

  26. what ever way you look at it this is a budget for big business. It has little for the ordinary person in the street. There are subsidies, but for who? The health thing plays into the hand of big pharmaceutical companies and we all know about mining. The $250 million dollar thing is a shot in the arm for the big churches.

    There are people who are dole surfing and there always will be but why are the BIG corporations also doing so much surfing. They are cartels.

    by paul holland on May 16, 2014 at 7:48 am

  27. what ever way you look at it this is a budget for big business. It has little for the ordinary person in the street. There are subsidies, but for who? The health thing plays into the hand of big pharmaceutical companies and we all know about mining. The $250 million dollar thing is a shot in the arm for the big churches.

    There are people who are dole surfing and there always will be but why are the BIG corporations also doing so much surfing. They are cartels.

    by paul holland on May 16, 2014 at 7:48 am

  28. Yes, Fractious, the more I think about it, the more I think that they haven’t really thought about it.
    Though if there is an ulterior motive, it could be in the almost constant urge of modern rightards to paint themselves as victims. That is, if some of their more obnoxious, bullying notions get blocked by the Senate, Abbott, his cronies, and his media camp followers, will soon be claiming that they’re victims of a largely imaginary, vast, all powerful, politically correct, green-left conspiracy.

    by Electric Lardyland on May 16, 2014 at 7:59 am

  29. A little late, but fuck you “patriot” - engineering is hardly useless, and my future colleagues are the ones that will design and build all you enjoy. For what privilege? The privilege of being perpetually laden with a higher education debt.

    Look to how universities treat international students now. That is how all students will be treated.

    by Chris Hartwell on May 16, 2014 at 8:16 am

  30. Guy,

    While your article has a lot of good points, the stuff about young social welfare recipients is really disturbing, for the following reasons:

    - It’s not a nuanced enough media environment to make throw away remarks and generalisations about this group. I’m not calling for a politically correct silence, just factual statements based on evidence. You’re throwing meat to the dogs.

    - You make a mistake that is too often associated with the old left - ignoring the role of poverty research in the fight for a progressive society. Social welfare research findings about poor, unemployed and homeless people are absolutely essential to making the case for a more progressive tax system, for instance. A study by the Brotherhood of St Laurence found that long term unemployed people were no less motivated to work than anyone else - it was other factors that held them back.

    - In the case of the umemployed young people you dismiss with the claim ‘the dole is rorted, everyone knows lots of kids who sign on and suck cones and read too much into repeated viewings of Donnie Darko’, you’re describing young people who have become disengaged from the workforce. Perhaps you could develop curiosity as to why. Is it because they’ve given up trying? Do they come from marginalised backgrounds with parents who never displayed an attachment to the workplace? Do they have undiagnosed mental illness, or learning disabilities? Etcetera etcetera.

    - People don’t come into the world lazy and unmotivated but even if they did they deserve income support. If I am too lazy to work, there is a case for my society providing me a basic income so I at least don’t starve. The alternative is barbaric.

    - There are rorters and fraudsters wherever you go, in the corporate world, in the law, in the public service - so why would the social welfare system be any different? The recent case of the young insider trader who made $2.5 million a day is an example of corporate crime.

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/accused-insider-trader-made-25m-in-a-day-20140511-383tm.html

    A suggestion for you - spend a morning in the BSL’s excellent library, and then spend a bit of time talking to some of the researchers in their Research and Policy Centre about young people and unemployment. You might come away with some new ideas about how the Left could form alliances with the welfare lobby.

    It seems this is what the Greens, unlike the ALP, have been doing - their policies on social welfare match the evidence, for example calling for an increase to the dole of $50 a week.

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2013/05/02/promisewatch-2013-newstart-allowance-comparison/

    If the Left calls for policies that match the evidence on climate change, shouldn’t it also be doing the same for social welfare, and applauding parties that have evidence-based policies in this area?

    by cmagree on May 16, 2014 at 8:55 am

  31. er…..was Guy partaking of those cones he was talking of? Quite a rant. Ultimately uplifting though.

    by Ryan John on May 16, 2014 at 10:07 am

  32. Thanks Guy. Great Piece.

    by David Coady on May 16, 2014 at 10:16 am

  33. @bobball, I think you’re spot on regarding work choices by another means.

    by 64magpies on May 16, 2014 at 11:10 am

  34. go hard like a school chaplain

    by seriously? on May 16, 2014 at 1:11 pm

  35. I watched the budget and spent the whole time wondering where the missing core of thing was. Silly me, I always thought budgets had to more or less balance the proposed outgoings against the proposed income from tax receipts.

    The preceding Labor government was ‘amateur.’ But, it took the present incumbents of the LNP to show how ‘amateurish’ a government can become.

    by Venise Alstergren on May 16, 2014 at 2:52 pm

  36. If Abbott thinks not getting the dole will encourage people to get work he is out of touch. In certain areas- particularly where most unemployed reside there are few jobs. We do have well organised criminal gangs who target those in need and when more young are desperate these gangs will be ready to pick up even more of the vulnerable.

    by Noelene Turton on May 16, 2014 at 3:47 pm

  37. Guy, are you having a mid-life crisis of your own? Leave the kids alone. It’s bad enough the older generations have used up and trashed the planet, and are busy making it uninhabitable for their kids through global warming. Now the Abbott government wants to speed up the process and starve those kids to death even before all their food species become extinct.

    The Abbott government is so full of shit it would take an enormous supply of laxatives to even begin to make an honest government out of it. What the hell are you doing lending your voice to their suggestion that our kids are worthless trash?

    by Andrew Dolt on May 16, 2014 at 6:53 pm

  38. Thesis: Guy Rundle will at every opportunity slag anyone involved in organised left politics, preferring to hear the echo of his own mellifluousness to anything practical.
    The Greens need to RETURN to grass roots? They were never an activist or community body in the first place.
    Your hatred of Shorten is palpable, unbecoming and unsupported by any meaningful logic here. The anecdotes are all witty, but the supporting evidence is nowhere. A
    This offers sod all in terms of practical ways forward, and could be very neatly precised a la “on how I am the only left leaning figure of any insight in this country”. You present at present as wholly opposed to the very business of institutional politics, which is a perfectly valid position, but that would surely recommend a very different essay to this one.

    by Adam Ford on May 17, 2014 at 5:46 am

  39. WHO WILL BE WELCOME AT GUY’S TOWN-HALL MEETINGS:

    Those who believe in “the fair go, and the basic notion of equality…”’

    WHO WON’T:

    the wastrel who had put the dole check on the first at Randwick…’

    “frequent flyers” — the old, lonely and depressed, who turn up twice a week, every week, and constitute around 30-50% of some GP lists.’

    The ‘undeserving poor…’

    People parked ‘in useless degrees for three years…’

    lots of kids who sign on and suck cones and read too much into repeated viewings of Donnie Darko.’

    ragged-trousered-philanthropist[s]…’

    the deeply indolent…’

    scriptwriters of dramas watched by 7% of the viewing audience…’

    People ‘channelling substantial energies into Palestine, hate speech, Palestine, bisexuality, Palestine, etc.’

    The Labor Party leadership - Bill Shorten in particular. Oh, and Paul Howes of course.

    Those who are mired in ‘this endless subcommittee bullshit, their pride in attaching four amendments to the Zyklon B (Manus) bill…’

    The Labor left, The Fabians and Socialist Alliance.

    SOLIDARITY FOREVER!

    by Tyger Tyger on May 17, 2014 at 8:53 am

  40. cmagree @79:

    Nailed it. +1

    by Tyger Tyger on May 17, 2014 at 8:55 am

  41. AdamF - Grundle is OK for verbal pyrotechnics (and doesn’t that wear thin quickly!)but has never been know to make a practical suggestion for inhabitants of this particular planet.

    by AR on May 17, 2014 at 9:31 am

  42. The comments are good, not sure about Guy. LOVe his writing but where does he take us? Last town hall meeting I remember was one I helped organise at Northcote town hall about the invasion of Iraq. Early 90s. Political parties aren’t the ones to organise such meetings, even the Greens. Seen as too partisan and only the true party believers come along. Needs to be an actual social movement. Do we still have them?

    by foskey deb on May 17, 2014 at 10:21 am

  43. Evidence of Gina’s influence at Fairfax?

    by taciturn on May 17, 2014 at 2:31 pm

  44. Foskey Deb-

    You organised a meeting about the invasion of Iraq in the early 90s? That was forward thinking.

    by Guy Rundle on May 17, 2014 at 8:57 pm

  45. Guy,

    i love everything you write. Will we see you at the Sydney Writers Festival this year?

    by Jane Boyd on May 18, 2014 at 9:42 am

  46. Great article Guy. The optimist in me wants to agree with you that this is a moment of opportunity; the pessimist in me still fears it is a moment for despair.
    A couple of comments:
    (i) I believe that around 80% of GP visits are currently bulk-billed. Of course, some of that represents waste, but how much? And how much is due to opportunistic doctors and entrepreneurs, rather than the miserable ‘frequent flyers’? And if it costs us $30 a week to make a lonely miserable person a little less lonely and miserable, I think we can cope. After all, the entire GP part of the health system represents only 10% of the total health cost. The big potential savings are within the hospital systems.
    (ii) I think you are harsh on young people rorting the dole. Yes, I’m sure there are people who do. But if there really are NO JOBS for some people, why don’t we all stop demanding that they go through the misery and indignity of trying to find a job? It’s as if we feel they have to do a sort of penance to get the dole, pathetically inadequate as it is. We should just say ‘Sorry, no job for you, here’s your money; and here are some ways you could make yourself useful until we reorganise this wealthy society so that less of us do overtime and more of us have a reasonable share in the nation’s resources’

    by Barnino on May 18, 2014 at 5:00 pm

  47. Guy, Re surfing dole bludgers…..I would love to know how many there are. To the nearest 10,000 even.

    My gues that 10K is the top number which in the scheme of things aint that many or that big a number

    by The Pav on May 19, 2014 at 5:07 pm

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